aA
Tennis star Ričardas Berankis added another chapter to his rivalry with Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov during the first round of the 2016 Australian Open.
Ričardas Berankis
Ričardas Berankis
© Vida Press

The 25-year-old Lithuanian bounced back from a slow start to take charge of the second set and looked on track for success as his opponent vacated the court seconds later.

However this momentary break was justified by Melbourne’s scorching weather (reaching 37°C) with many patrons across Melbourne Park suffering sunburn and sunstroke throughout the day.

After regaining his composure the world number-35 Dolgopolov returned to the court and rectified his previous errors to claim another memorable victory over the Lithuanian (final scores: 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-2).

Two years earlier Berankis and Dolgopolov sparred off on the adjacent court to start their respective 2014 campaigns.

The match saw a competitive opening two sets before Dolgopolov was released from his shackles in the third to record an enduring 7-5 7-5 6-2 victory.

Meanwhile in September, Berankis (now world number-85) sent a scare towards the Ukrainian camp when defeating Vladyslav Manafov in the two nation’s first ever Davis Cup meeting.

Nevertheless the Lithuanian would not be able to hold off Illya Marchenko and, as a result, Lithuania has now been relegated back to the third tier of the prestigious International tournament.

While rivalries add flavour to the sport it is important to acknowledge supporters as a key ingredient.

Therefore after reflecting on the afternoon I believe the real winners were the members of the ‘Berankis Brigade’ supporters group; a vocal contingent which celebrated its five-year anniversary by igniting the crowd through chants in both Lithuanian and English.

The focus is now on Dolgopolov as he faces 17-time Grand Slam champion, Davis Cup winner and Olympic Gold medalist Roger Federer (Switzerland) in the second round on Wednesday.

Statistics: (Berankis: Dolgopolov)

Aces 5:10

Double faults 2:8

1st serves in 69/118 (58 %):60/110 (55 %)

1st serve points won 37/69 (54 %):49/60 (82 %)

2nd serve points won 26/49 (53 %):22/50 (44 %)

Break points won 3/9 (33 %):7/17 (41 %)

Receiving points won 39/110 (35 %):55/118 (47 %)

Net points won 13/27 (48 %):5/7 (71 %)

Winners 28:34

Unforced errors 51:39

Total points won 102:126

|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

Kaunastic discoveries: music in Kaunas this July

Here’s what the Kaunas calendar has to offer, including cumbia, classical music , urban sounds...

Public events sector slow to restart despite easing of audience restrictions

Even though the Lithuanian authorities have relaxed audience restrictions on cultural, entertainment,...

Top 10 Instagram spots in Lithuania

The dunes of the Curonian Spit , the Hill of Crosses , Trakai Castle on its lake island, Vilnius...

Zalgiris Kaunas' Jasikevicius moves to Barcelona

Sarunas Jasikevicius is leaving as head coach of Lithuania's Zalgiris Kaunas, having led the club...

Lithuania to promote its attractiveness for tourists from Europe and Asia

Lithuania will seek to promote its attractiveness for tourists in several markets, including...

Top news

Nauseda: Lithuania will have to go back to financial discipline after corona crisis

Once the coronavirus crisis ends and the economic situation gets back to normal, Lithuania will...

Tours operators suspend trips to Bulgaria over coronavirus concerns

Lithuania's tour operators Novaturas and Tez Tour have decided not to organize trips to Bulgaria...

President: Lithuania must defend its haulers' interests 'to the hilt'

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda backs the government's plans to contest the EU Mobility Package...

Loop traffic has taken effect in Vilnius Old Town

On 7 July, a new order for arranging traffic in Vilnius Old Town took effect – visitors and...

Kaunastic discoveries: music in Kaunas this July

Here’s what the Kaunas calendar has to offer, including cumbia, classical music , urban sounds...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina